The entertainment industry continues to feel the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic worldwide as production on feature films and shows have been shut down, movie theaters have been closed (resulting in high profile movies being delayed), and celebrities themselves have been diagnosed with the virus. Another branch on the entertainment tree has just felt the ripple of the effects of the virus, as The Making of Harry Potter tour at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden has shut down in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus both to their employees and the public.
"While there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of the health and well-being of our visitors, employees and community partners, we have made the decision to temporarily close the Studio Tour effective from 8pm on Monday 16th March 2020," a statement on the museum's website reads. "We will continue to monitor the situation closely, please refer to our website for further updates on a date when we will reopen."
The museum noted that anyone who had purchased tickets between March 17 and April 3 will be able to secure a full refund or to rebook their tickets for another date; however, the museum will remain closed indefinitely and has suspended bookings until June 30th of this year.
For those unaware, The Making of Harry Potter studio tour was created and compiled after filming on the final Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, had completed in 2010. The museum opened in March of 2012 and houses thousands of pieces from the production of all eight movies in the series, all of which shot at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden over the course of ten years.
Included in the museum's display are thousands of props and costumes, plus practical special effects displays like the Whomping Willow from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and visual effects displays for the green-screen crafted Quiddith pitch. There are also full sets on display for fans to walk through including The Great Hall from Hogwarts, Diagon Alley, The Forbidden Forest, and Platform 9 3/4, and the full Hogwarts castle model described as the " jewel in the crown of the art department" for the franchise.
In related Harry Potter news, production on the third Fantastic Beasts feature film has been suspended by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film is currently set for release on November 12, 2021, and it remains to be seen how these production delays will affect that date.